No-Knead Bread

no-knead bread - trustinkim

I recently paid $9 for a loaf of bread – it was really beautiful, but it didn’t taste like a $9 loaf of bread. But this one sure does! I’d even bump that up to an $11 loaf.

AND . . . it is so easy to make! You just mix up the flour, salt, yeast and sugar the night before and leave it to do its thing The next day you do one more quick step a few hours hours before baking, and in the end you get this beautiful, delicious, and inexpensive bread. It has a thick dark crust, and a moist and tender inside, and the smell as you’re cutting it and taking that first bite is heavenly.

For this recipe you need a lidded baker; the trapped steam helps to develop a crust. I use a Romertopf clay roaster (see special instructions) which helps to create an excellent crust because of the moisture stored in the clay. I have also used a lidded le Creuset pot, but I would imagine you could use a tall cast-iron pan covered with foil… I’ll let you know when I try this out!

What you need:

  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon instant yeast
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1 & 1/3 cups water, room temperature

What you do:

  1. In a large bowl combine the flour, yeast and salt. Add the water and stir just until it comes together. It will look a bit shaggy, but it’s fine.
  2. Loosely cover the bowl with a lid, plate or plastic wrap and leave in a room temperature spot for 12 to 18 hours. Eighteen-ish hours is preferable, especially if it’s a little cooler in your place. In winter it can be helpful to put the bowl in a warmer spot, like on top of a fridge.
  3. About two hours before baking time, generously flour a tea towel (not a terry cloth one, as the dough sticks too much). Use a spatula to coax the dough out of the bowl, and then use floured hands to gently form it into a loaf, and place it seam-side down onto the floured towel. Sprinkle with a little more flour, then gently place another towel over the top. Allow this to sit for about 2 hours.
  4. About 1/2 an hour before baking turn the oven to 450°F/ 232°C. (If using a Romertopf/clay baker, make sure you have pre-soaked it, and then placed it in the oven BEFORE turning the oven on.)
  5. When the oven is ready gently place the dough, seam side down, into the lidded baker. Use a sharp knife to make a few slashes a few centimetres deep into the top of the bread.
  6. Place the lid on the baking dish and bake for 30 minutes. After that time remove the lid and bake for 15-25 minutes. The crust should be dark, and the bread should sound hollow when you tap it.
  7. Allow the bread to cool on a wire rack for about an hour. When it is hot it will be too sticky inside to but, but after an hour there should still be some warmth.
  8. Enjoy!

 

No-Knead Rye Bread

no-knead rye bread - trustinkim

Yes, this crusty beauty was soooo delicious! It’s a slight variation on my usual recipe; I’m always trying to replicate my Oma’s Russian Black Bread, but I can never get it quite right. All the experimenting certainly is delicious, though!

So for this version I used part dark rye flour, and used a coating of oil on the outside of the bread for that really crusty finish – awesome results! The bread has just the right density, with a bit of chewiness to it, and the crust is pretty thick with a crisp outer layer. Excellent with or without butter! A little salted butter is magic, though!

If you’re not familiar with the no-knead concept, here’s the gist of it.

A) It’s delicious. Like the bread you pay $6 for at the Farmer’s Market. Or the stuff you eat when you’re on holiday in Europe, and you wonder: why eat any other kind of bread? I know, I wonder the same thing.

B) It’s really cheap

C) It’s so easy. Yes, you have to plan ahead by mixing the dough (2 minutes) then wait (12-18 hours), then wait (an hour or two), then bake (under an hour), then eat (worth it all!). So the actual hands-on time is minimal; you just have to be home to do a few of the steps.

D) It’s SOOOO delicious!

Here are a few ideas for bread toppings: creamy homemade hummus, tzatziki, grilled Japanese eggplant, sun-dried tomato and basil cream cheese spread, or sopping up the sauce in these delicious ouzo prawns. Please share your favourite bread toppings! I’d love to hear from you.

What you need:

  • 1 cup dark rye flour
  • 2 cups white flour
  • 1 & 1/4 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoons yeast
  • 1 & 1/2 cups water (I use slightly warm water in winter)
  • canola oil for coating the bread

What you do:

  1. Combine the flours, salt and yeast in a bowl. Add the water and mix; add more water if needed until you have a wet, sticky dough.
  2. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or a lid (not airtight), and let sit for 12-18 hours in a warm-ish place, and out of direct sunlight. The dough should double in size and become dotted with bubbles. If your house is a little on the cool side you will likely need the longer rising time. I put mine on top of the freezer, which gives off a bit of heat.
  3. Cut a large piece of parchment paper and place it inside a large bowl, roughly forming it to the bottom of the bowl. Coat the top of the dough in oil using your hands, then turn it out into the parchment paper-lined bowl. Coat the new dough surface dough with oil. Cover loosely with a lid or with some plastic wrap, tucking it in loosely around the edges. Let the dough sit for 1-2 hours, until it has doubled in volume.
  4. About 1/2 hour before you want to put the bread in the oven, set the temperature to 475 F  and place your baking pot on a rack in the lower third of the oven. Let the pot heat up, and when the oven has reached 475 F, remove the pot from the oven. Remove the lid from the dough and pick up the dough by gathering together the corners of the parchment paper. Carefully (remember the pot is smoking hot!) place the dough in the parchment paper into the pot.
  5. Put the cover on the pot and bake for 30 minutes while the bread forms its nice thick crust. Remove the lid from the pot and continue to bake for 15-20 minutes more.  The bread should become a deep brown when it is done, and if you tap on it, it should sound hollow.  Remove the pot from the oven, lift the bread out of the pot, remove the parchment paper, and place it on a rack to cool. It needs to cool for about 1/2 an hour before slicing.
  6. This bread has no preservatives, so if you don’t use it up of the second day, it should be frozen.

Healthy Oatmeal Apple Muffins

healthy oat muffins - trust in kim

Searching for a low-fat muffin recipe, I came across this recipe online. These muffins taste surprisingly good, especially considering there’s no oil or dairy in them, and they have a nice light texture. Rather than using butter or oil, this recipe uses apple sauce.

The original recipe says, “no flour, no sugar, no oil,” but I consider honey a sugar, so I can’t say this is really sugar-free. I cut the amount of honey from 1/3 to 1/4 cup because the applesauce has natural sugar. I changed the milk to almond milk. The original recipe calls for mashed banana, or apple sauce substitute, but I don’t love banana breads, so I made some apple sauce and put that in. As a topping, the recipe called for sprinkling some oats on, but I don’t like dry oats; instead I sprinkled on a tiny bit of brown sugar to give it a little colour. And who doesn’t like that little bit of sweetness?

You can add anything you wish to these; I added 1/2 cup pecans. Other nuts or dried fruit, or apple chunks would be nice in here.

Remember to use a delicate hand in the last stages of the recipe, taking care not to over-mix – this will ensure that delicate texture that you want.

What you need:

  • 2 &½ cups old-fashioned oats (1 &1/2 cups ground, 1 cup whole)
  • 1 cup applesauce (or mashed very ripe banana)
  • 2 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup soy or almond milk
  • 2 tsp real vanilla
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar (optional, for topping)

What you do:

  1. Preheat the oven to 325F. Spread the oats on a baking sheet and toast them for 5-6 minutes, stirring partway through. Allow the oats to cool, then grind 1 & 1/2 cups in a spice or coffee grinder (you could substitute 1 & 1/2 cups of flour if you have no grinder). Turn the oven up to 350F for baking the muffins.
  2. Pour the apple sauce (or mashed banana – no lumps!) into a large bowl. Mix in the eggs, then the honey, milk and vanilla.
  3. Combine the oats with the baking powder, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and gently stir the dry ingredients into the liquids. Allow this to sit for 10 minutes so the oats can absorb some liquid. The batter will become light and fluffy.
  4. Gently fold in nuts or fruit if you are using them.
  5. Scoop the batter into lined muffin tins. Bake for 19-22 minutes. Test with a toothpick to see if it is done.

Enjoy! I froze most of my batch, and they were delicious in the coming days.

Mexican Brown Rice & Beans with Squash and Chorizo

Beans, Rice, Chorizo & Squash

This meal is awesome! So flavourful – a little bit spicy, or a lot if you prefer. But it’s not just spicy – I love the beans in this recipe, prepared like I would a soup stock, with garlic, onion and other ingredients to make them irresistible. The rice, as well, has onion, garlic, hot peppers and flame-roasted tomatoes to boost the flavour. And the Mexican chorizo and cotija cheese add some salty goodness. Add a salsa of your choice, and you’ve got a feast!

I’m not going to lie to you – there are a lot of steps here. Each of the parts of the recipe can be made to use in other meals; the beans and rice would be great on their own, and the rice, squash and chorizo would be great together. On another occasion I made the beans and rice with a beautiful pulled beef dish (recipe to come…). Use a vegetable broth and omit the chorizo for a vegetarian meal.

The beans can be made ahead of time and reheated; they take the longest amount of time. The timeline looks like this:

  • soak the beans the night before
  • make the beans ahead of time OR give them 1 & 1/2 hours or more to cook
  • bake the rice
  • if you are making your own salsa, do that (salsa fresca, salsa verde asado)
  • roast the squash
  • prepare the Mexican sausage
  • put it all together and top with Mexican cotija cheese, Mexican sausage, cilantro, and a wedge of lime

I cobbled this recipe together from a variety of sites, making a bunch of changes that are too numerous to list. The butternut squash is taken from a taco recipe, the beans are adapted from a Saveur recipe, and the rice is a combination of a Rick Bayless recipe and a  Whole Foods recipe.

What you need for the beans:

  • 2 cups dried pinto beans
  • about 8 cups chicken stock, or water and chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 clove garlic, smashed
  • 1 whole jalapeño
  • 12 small sweet onion
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you need for the rice:

  • 1 sweet onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 jalapeño peppers, sliced
  • 1 & 1/2 cups brown rice
  • 1 teaspoon dried ancho pepper
  • 2 cups chicken broth or water (with chicken boullion added)
  • 1 & 1/2 cups fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon salt

What you need for the squash:

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 dried ancho pepper, snipped into small pieces with kitchen shears
  • olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/5 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin seeds

What you need for the Mexican Sausage:

  • 2-3 cured Mexican sausages (in Vancouver Armando’s Meats at Granville Island has excellent sausages)
  • 1/2 sweet onion, chopped
  • olive oil

Other things you need:

  • Mexican cotija cheese (salty and crumbly – yum!)
  • lime wedges
  • cilantro
  • salsa of your choice (homemade or store-bought)
  • your favourite hot sauce that people can add as they see fit – some of us like it hot!

What you do for the beans:

  1. Soak the beans in a large pot of water the night before you plan to cook them.
  2. Drain the beans and add the 8 cups of chicken broth or water and chicken bouillon. Add the celery, carrot, onion, garlic, jalapeño and a bit of salt. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to a simmer. Cook for 1 hour and 45 minutes, or until the beans are soft. Add a little boiling water if they start looking too dry.
  3. At this point I decided to cook off a lot of the liquid by raising the heat and stirring. This way I kept a ton of flavour in the beans. Alternatively, you could drain the liquid and reserve it for making soup.
  4. Discard the vegetable pieces and bay leaves.

What you do for the rice:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F.
  2. Use an oven-proof pot with a lid or a dutch oven for the rice. Add the olive oil to the pot on medium-high. When it is hot, add the onion and cook, stirring, for a few minutes. Add the garlic and cook for another minute or two.
  3.  Add the jalapeño pepper, rice, and the whole dried ancho pepper. Stir to combine, then add the tomatoes, broth or water and chicken bouillon, and the salt. Bring to a boil then cover with a lid and bake for one hour.
  4. Remove the rice from the heat and let sit for 10 minutes, or until the rest of the meal is prepared.
  5. Fluff the rice with a fork and cover until ready to serve.

What you do for the squash:

  1. While the rice is cooking, begin to prepare the squash. Turn the oven heat to 400F when the rice is done; if you have room in the oven you could cook the squash with the rice, letting it bake a little longer than suggested here.
  2. Peel and dice the squash. Place it in a large bowl. Drizzle it with olive oil, then add the garlic, ancho pepper, oregano, salt, and cumin seeds. Toss to combine.
  3. Arrange the squash in a single layer on a baking tray. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until it begins to get a little browned.

What you do for the sausage:

  1. Heat a frying pan to medium-high and add a drizzle of olive oil. Add the onion and fry until it begins to brown. In the meantime, crumble the sausage into small bite-sized pieces.
  2. Add the sausage to the onions and cook until lightly browned. Keep hot until serving.

You can either serve family style, letting everyone put their plates together as they wish, or dish it up: rice and beans side by side, some squash and chorizo on top, sprinkled with a little cheese. Top with cilantro and place a wedge of lime on it for people to squeeze over the whole thing. Serve the salsa on the side, so people can add as much as they wish.

Enjoy!

Mushroom and Duck Risotto

mushroom and duck risotto - trust in kimAfter roasting a duck that came from this farm, I saved some meat and made a broth with the bones. The final product even tastier than the roast duck dinner. I used the duck broth, some of the meat, white wine, lots of wild mushrooms and some parmesan to give it loads of flavour. This would also be great without the duck, maybe using some chicken, or a vegetarian dish using vegetable broth instead.

Risotto isn’t difficult to make; it just takes some attention, as you need to stir it frequently and add the liquids slowly so it ends up with a nice creamy texture.

I found this recipe on the blog ‘Bossy Italian Wife.’ I changed the recipe a little by mixing some Parmesan into the risotto instead of just using it as a garnish. I also used wild mushrooms rather than button, but feel free to use what you can find or like. Also I didn’t have gravy to add to the risotto, but it was really good without it.

This makes two generous portions, or can be used as an appetizer for four people.

What you need:

  • a few teaspoons of duck fat
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups duck stock (kept warm on the stove)
  • 1 cup white wine
  • some leftover duck meat, pulled apart with a fork or your hands
  • 150 grams or more (5 ounces) mixed wild mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 cup arborio rice
  • 1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese plus a little to garnish

What you do:

  1. Heat the duck fat at medium-high heat in a medium-sized pot.
  2. Add the garlic and mushrooms and cook until they begin to brown.
  3. Add the rice to the pot and stir it for about a minute, allowing it to brown. Turn the heat down to medium.
  4. Add the wine to the pot and stir until it is absorbed into the rice. Don’t rush this process. Some good music will allow you to enjoy the stirring, and you’ll end up with the best risotto.
  5. Add a ladle-full of stock to the rice, stirring until it is absorbed. Keep adding, stirring, allowing each portion of stock to be absorbed before adding more. It should take about 20-30 minutes to cook the rice completely. Towards the end of the cooking time, begin testing the rice by biting into a piece to see if it is done. If it is still crunchy, keep cooking.
  6. When the rice is done add the duck meat and Parmesan. Let the duck heat through, then serve immediately, topped with a little more Parmesan cheese.

 

 

Open Kibbeh

kibbeh - trust in kim

Here  is another Yotam Ottolenghi recipe from his Jerusalem cookbook.  It is not a traditional kibbeh recipe; this one is layered with a bulgur crust on the bottom, meat and onion, then the tahini on top.  It takes a bit of time to get this together, but there’s nothing really difficult about it.  I might make a little more of the tahini sauce next time, because I didn’t have enough to get to the edges of my kibbeh, and the meat got a little crunchy because of that.  Yet still yummy!

Serve this with fattoush or tabbouleh salad or even just a nice green salad.

What you need:

  • scant 1 cup/125 grams fine bulgur wheat
  • 200 mL water
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil/ 90 mL
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped
  • 1 green chile, finely chopped
  • 12 oz / 350 grams ground lamb (substitute beef if you wish)
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro
  • 1/2 cup/ 60 grams pine nuts
  • 3 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons self-rising flour (I just added a pinch each of salt and baking powder to regular flour)
  • 3 & 1/2 tablespoons light tahini paste
  • 2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon sumac
  • salt and pepper

What you do:

  1. Line the sides an 8-inch/ 20 cm springform pan with wax or parchment paper.
  2. Place the bulgur in a large bowl and cover it with water.  Let it sit for 30 minutes.
  3. Heat 4 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large pan and sauté the garlic, onion and chile until they are soft. Remove the onion mixture from the pan.
  4. Cook the lamb in the large frying pan for about 5 minutes, stirring, until browned.  Add the onion mixture and add the spices, cilantro, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some freshly ground pepper, most of the pine nuts and parsley, leaving some aside for the top. Cook this for a few minutes, then return from the heat and adjust seasonings.
  5.  Preheat the oven to 400F.
  6. Check to see if all the water has been absorbed into the bulgur; drain any remaining water.  Add the flour, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and a pinch of black pepper.  Work this mixture with your hands until it holds together.  Add a little more flour if it is too sticky.  Press firmly into the bottom of the springform pan so that it is compact and level.
  7. Add the lamb mixture and press it down a little.
  8. Bake for about 20 minutes, until the meat is very dark brown.
  9. While the kibbeh is in the oven whisk together the tahini, lemon juice, 3 & 1/2 tablespoons of water and a pinch of salt.
  10. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and spread the tahini over the top (closer to the edges than in my picture!), sprinkle with the nuts and parsley and return to the oven for 10-12 minutes, until the tahini sauce has a little colour and the pine nuts are golden.
  11. Remove the kibbeh from the oven and let it cool until it is warm or room temperature.  Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil and sumac.  Remove the springform pan sides and parchment paper and cut into wedges to serve.

Peanut Butter Granola

peanut butter granola-trust in kim

What you need:

  • 3 cups rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds, chopped
  • 1/3 cup pecans, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons honey, agave nectar or maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • dash of salt (if there was none in the peanut butter)

 

What you do:

1. Combine the oats, and chopped nuts in a large bowl.

2. Melt the peanut  butter and add the honey or other sweetener and salt to it.  Stir this liquid into the nut and oat mixture and make sure there are no clumps of peanut butter remaining.

3. Spread evenly onto a baking sheet, and bake at 350F for about 30 minutes in total. First set the timer for 10 minutes, then break it up a little. Stir it again after another 10 minutes, then check and stir every five minutes until it is golden brown. Let it cool completely before storing in an airtight jar.

I like to serve mine with yogurt and fruit, and sometimes just fruit and soy milk.